Nov. 16, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – After leading the University of Tennessee is all six of his races this season, Vol sophomore harrier Peter Okwera will head to Louisville, Ky., to compete in the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday afternoon.
The meet will be hosted by the University of Louisville and is set to begin with the women’s 6K at 12 p.m. ET, followed by the men’s 10,000-meter competition at 1:15 p.m. ET. Both races will be run at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park.
For the first time since World War II, the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will be held on a Saturday instead of a Monday and for the second time in a BIG EAST Conference city. It will also be the first time in NCAA history that the Division I Championship will take place in the state of Kentucky. It is the 75th annual men’s competition and the 33rd annual women’s competition.
A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast at NCAA.com.
With a sixth-place finish at last week’s South Regional, Okwera – who is making his first NCAA Championship appearance – became the first Vol runner to automatically qualify for the NCAA field since Zach Sabatino finished third at the South Regionals in 2005.
Running in his first 10K of the season, the Kampala, Uganda native navigated the Apalachee Regional Park course in Tallahassee, Fla., in 30 minutes, 41.10 seconds to finish sixth overall and lead the Big Orange to an eighth place team finish last week. Okwera earned All-South Region honors for placing in the top 25.
At the 2012 Southeastern Conference Championship in Nashville, Okwera posted a sixth place finish and was named to the All-SEC Team for his performance. It was also the highest individual performance for a Vol harrier since Sabatino finished sixth at the 2005 league championship.
The NCAA Championship field consists of 31 teams and 40 individual qualifiers for a total of 255 runners.